3:1 CD Review: Make Mine the Real Thing (Barry Rowland and Deliverance)
3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.
1: “But He Did”: This song proves Kyla Rowland sets aside some of her strongest songs for her son. She doesn’t send all the best ones to the Perrys and Mark Trammell! This song uses one of the most powerful tools in a songwriter’s arsenal, antithesis. One might not expect a song with the title “But He Did” to be a lyric with a powerful contrast. But what a contrast it is!
And if Christ be not raised
Then our faith is in vain
But He did
Barry Rowland and Deliverance travels a circuit where audiences aren’t afraid to shout “Glory!” If this song doesn’t get audiences shouting “Glory,” nothing will!
(It’s clear enough why Kyla couldn’t have gone with the title “And if Christ be not raised”!)
2: “All Our Hope”: Lead singer Shawn Rupert another powerful Kyla Rowland anthem. The lyrics are so strong that it would be an album highlight with weak vocals—and the vocals are so strong that it would be an album highlight with forgettable lyrics!
3: Vocal Performances. With the genes and training Barry has had, one might expect him to be the vocal star of the show. He’s not. Make no mistake, though—he is good enough that he could be. His rich baritone has the power and warmth of a bass singer singing a solo, yet he can transition into a softer blending gear effortlessly.
His wife, Tammy Rowland, is a great singer in her own right. She anchors two of the project’s strongest songs, “But He Did” and “God Handled it All.” On verse two, she soars through the roof on the high ending popularized by Jay Parrack in Gold City’s landmark rendition. This suggests that her natural range is probably mezzo-soprano or soprano, yet she has more than capably broadened her tones to spend most of her time in a power alto range reminiscent of Libbi Perry Stuffle or Sheryl Farris.
Shawn Rupert has a phenomenal range. He likes to employ stylings reminiscent of Michael English, but he can sing a straight-ahead lead when needed.
Their vocals suggest comparisons to the Perrys, and their personalities and presentation suggest comparisons to the McKameys. Add that to the production quality you’d expect from either group, and if this is your stylistic cup of tea, this project is definitely one that you do not want to miss!
:1 or +4?: There aren’t any fast songs. But that’s intentional. Their music isn’t for your tapping toes; it’s for your heart.
Album rating: 4.5 stars.
Radio Single Picks: ”But He Did,” “All Our Hope.”
Credits: Produced by Danny Crawford. Studio musicians: Danny Crawford (piano/keyboards), Tony Creasman (percussion), Jeremy Medkiff (guitars), David Johnson (everything else). Review copy provided.
Song List: He Took My Case; I Can Still Pray Through; All Our Hope; Make Mine the Real Thing; He Crossed Out My Sin and Shame; What’s That for a Healer; The Blood and Its Power; My Prayers are all Over You; God Handled it All; But He Did; One Prayer Away.
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